fri 01/08/2014

Reissue CDs Weekly: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Rodriguez, Benny Spellman, Rupert's People | New music reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Rodriguez, Benny Spellman, Rupert's People

Swiftly re-released Nick Cave, Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack, classy New Orleans R&B and mods-gone-freaky

Nick Cave, without his Bad Seeds: a forecast of generally icily cold or autumnal

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds DIG!!! LAZARUS, DIG!!!Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds: Nocturama, Abattoir Blues, The Lyre of Orpheus, DIG!!! LAZARUS, DIG!!!

Howard Male

There’s something just not right about having to reassess a bunch of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds albums in August, just as the sun is finally making a concerted effort to do its job. Cave is generally either icily cold or autumnally melancholic with the only heat being issued from the fiery hell awaiting some of his vividly conjured protagonists.

The first three of these rather swiftly re-released albums - Nocturama, Abattoir Blues, and The Lyre of Orpheus (2003, 2004, 2004 respectively) - lean towards the icy autumnal part of his oeuvre (without quite reaching the heights (or should that be depths?) of his 2001 masterpiece And No More Shall We Part. The latter however, the electrically animated, compellingly aggressive, and darkly amusing DIG!!! LAZARUS DIG!!! (2008), is a different kettle of rotting fish altogether, being the most immediately engaging of these albums.

With all four re-releases (although pedants will want it mentioned that Orpheus and Abattoir were released as a pair) you get a bonus 5.1 Surround Sound DVD featuring a few credible bonus tracks (although nothing that needed to be, or should have been, on the albums) and any accompanying videos. Video highlights are “Nature Boy” which is a great little pop single reminiscent of Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”. And the truly sublime shaggy, shagging dog story of “More News From Nowhere” which perfectly illustrates Cave’s ability to write lyrics that function just as well as prose. Cave talks as much as sings his way through this low-slung slinky blues - part prime T Rex, part Transformer-era Lou Reed, part zombie Elvis - in some basement Soho club, while Will Self sits at the bar doing the crossword: video and song are in perfect communion - which is how it should be, but rarely is.

Rodriguez Searching for Sugar ManRodriguez: Searching for Sugar Man

Kieron Tyler

Coinciding with the release of the film, here comes the “Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”. What it actually is, rather than a real-life soundtrack, is a compilation drawing tracks from Rodriguez's two fabulous albums: seven from Cold Fact, four from Coming From Reality (half his released oeuvre), plus the three previously unissued cuts first heard on the Light in the Attic reissue of Coming From Reality. The impact of these bleak missives is undimmed. It is as good a place to start as any – especially as there is a note saying that “Rodriguez receives royalties from the sale of this release". As the film makes clear, money made from some previous reissues did not make it to him. But with his discography so slim, the albums themselves still seem attractive. Opening with “Sugar Man”, the cards are laid down immediately. This is one of the most bare-wired, lacerating drug songs ever. Rod’s voice is dark and compelling, his songs hypnotic dramas. The logic of why this has been issued is sound. Buy this, and then get the albums.

Add comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Use to create page breaks.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters